The Atlantic County Department of Public Safety oversees 253 personnel and a 700-bed facility. The department became a Lexipol customer in 2019 using the Corrections Policy and Training solution.
Like many departments, the Atlantic County Department of Public Safety (ACDPS) was operating with outdated policies. In 2010, Warden David Kelsey, a sergeant at the time, was assigned to primarily focus on writing policies for the department. “I was able to update many of the policies,” he says. “But then, after I got my next promotion, the department really never identified anybody to maintain them.” Struggling to continue making policy updates in addition to his new responsibilities, Warden Kelsey was once again facing significant policy-related challenges: “I began to wear many more hats and I couldn’t maintain it as well, so it was just something we kept lagging behind in.”
On top of outdated policies, ACDPS Captain Steve Iuliucci recalls additional issues the department had with their policy manual. “Our policies were written by so many different authors who were using different formats and settings. A lot of things looked different, and it was hard getting them out to the staff,” Captain Iuliucci says.
In 2019, ACDPS discovered Lexipol’s Corrections Policy and Training solution. “We were looking for a way to update all our policies and keep them organized. I liked what Lexipol offered. Captain Iuliucci and I attended a demo on how Lexipol issues policies and updates, and we liked that we were able to send in all our outdated policies and then it was presented back to us with recommendations,” Warden Kelsey says. ACDPS also learned that in working with Lexipol, they still had the final say in their policies. “A team of attorneys from Lexipol will review and send out policy updates and we can review the update and adopt it—or not,” Captain Iuliucci says.
Realizing the significant time and effort needed to adopt a new policy manual, Warden Kelsey appointed Captain Iuliucci as project manager to work with Lexipol’s Professional Services throughout the process. “I think that was the key—assigning Captain Iuliucci to work directly with Lexipol’s Implementation Services representative. Both of them working together is what we needed to do a total overhaul of our policies and policy management system. We wouldn’t have been able to do it ourselves,” Warden Kelsey says.
Hands-on from start to finish, Captain Iuliucci worked side by side with Lexipol’s representative throughout the implementation. “The Lexipol implementation representative presented everything, directed me and showed me how to do everything,” Captain Iuliuccii says. “He answered all my questions and even helped me with wording on certain policies. Everything was customized to fit our department’s needs. It was very smooth.”
To enhance retention of the new policy content, ACDPS is also using Lexipol’s Daily Training Bulletins (DTBs) to help personnel learn to apply policies and improve their ability to make well-reasoned decisions. “The DTBs are another asset Lexipol provides. When they come out monthly, I read every single one of them and make sure they’re tailored to our staff and facility. I’ve had no issues maintaining them,” Captain Iuliucci says.
With Lexipol, ACDPS is now confident they are operating in alignment with state laws and federal regulations. “Keeping up to date with changes in legislation and the law is now simple. As soon as there’s a change, we are notified and able to get that change in policy out to our staff right away,” Warden Kelsey says. “It’s important to be able to regularly train and test our staff on the policies to make sure they are familiar with them and have a full understanding, so they know how to apply them to real-life situations.”
With Lexipol’s online Knowledge Management System (KMS), ACDPS has 24/7 access to their policies via a web-based platform and mobile app. “I like the mobile app. There are times I get a call from personnel when I’m off and I can go straight to the mobile app and search for a certain keyword, and it will bring that policy right up. That’s one of the most important functions of the system,” Captain Iuliucci says.
For ACDPS, the policy overhaul with Lexipol proved to be a move in the right direction. “Here in New Jersey, our jails are audited and inspected by the state. The policies are a significant part of that inspection,” Warden Kelsey says. ”Since we’ve been using Lexipol, we’ve had 100% compliance on all inspections and have been complimented by state inspectors that our policies are outstanding.”